Beyoncé’s charity, the BeyGOOD Foundation, is donating $6 million to provide relief to communities of color and essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, the superstar’s website posted a note saying that her organization, along with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s Start Small fund, will provide $6 million to local community-based organizations; the University of California, Los Angeles; and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to help provide mental wellness services in Houston, New York City, New Orleans and Detroit.
“Communities of color are suffering by epic proportions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many families live in underserved areas with homes that make it harder to practice social distancing,” the statement says, before addressing the “education, health and housing” needs in these communities.
While COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has taken the lives of thousands of people all across the globe, as Beyoncé said, it has hit Black communities harder than most. Cities like Chicago, New Orleans and Las Vegas, and the states of Maryland and South Carolina, have reported an over-representation of Black victims of the virus.
Factors like living in overcrowded and under-served neighborhoods, and disproportionately comprising the “essential” and service industry workforces, make Black and brown Americans particularly vulnerable during this time.
Beyoncé has been vocal about her support for those experiencing hardship during the current health crisis. She helped honor the “true heroes” who are “making the ultimate sacrifice to keep us all safe, fed, and healthy” during Saturday’s Global Citizen live concert, “One World: Together at Home.”
She also addressed how the virus has exacerbated existing inequalities for Black communities.
“Black Americans disproportionately belong to these essential parts of the workforce that do not have the luxury of working from home. And African American communities at large have been severely affected in this crisis. Those with preexisting conditions are at an even higher risk,” she explained during her concert appearance.
“This virus is killing black people in an alarmingly high rate here in America. A recent report from my home city Houston, Texas, it showed that COVID-19 deaths within Houston city limits, 57% of fatal cases are African American.”
She also implored fans to “protect yourselves.”
“We are one family, and we need you. We need your voices, your abilities, and your strength all over this world,” she said. “I know it’s very hard, but be patient, stay encouraged, stay positive, and continue to pray for our heroes.”
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